POSTED: Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 10:29pm
UPDATED: Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 10:34pm
Hammond, LA (NBC33) — People in North Hammond hope an increased reward brings closure to what they call a senseless shooting.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office and Crimestoppers are offering $5,000 for information leading to an arrest in the murder of Mary Alvarez.
Alvarez was shot once in the head inside her nursery on November 14.  A spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office told NBC33 her death has been ruled a homicide, but detectives lack both evidence and witnesses at this point in the investigation.
Community members described that part of town, near the intersection of University Avenue and Morrison Boulevard, as a quiet area.
"Oh, it shocked me," said Jarvis Myers. "I ain't never heard nothing like that."
They described her as a kind, generous woman, who turned every stranger into a friend.
"If you did not find the plant you were looking for, she would try to give you another plant, or try her best to find that plant," said Dana Flournoy, who lives near Alvarez Nursery. "And I really hate to hear about everything to her. I hope this gets solved really quick."
Mary Alvarez' husband, Vic, said he and his wife were just about to retire when she was killed. Now, the gates to the business remain closed most of the time. Vic Alvarez estimated that he has only worked a few hours over the last five weeks.
If you have any information about the case, you may call Detective Dale Athmann at (985) 634-9181, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-554-5245.